Arthur R. Garcia, Jr., a longtime business journalist and co-founder and editor of Bulldog Reporter, the first newsletter that advised public relations practitioners how to ‘pitch’ stories to editors and reporters, has died following a short illness. He was 85.
Garcia, who began his career as a reporter at the Modesto (CA) Bee, later joined the Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau and wrote for numerous publications including San Francisco Magazine, where he was managing editor, Financial Times, Journal of Commerce, and Christian Science Monitor, among others. He earned a bachelor’s degree at University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree at Stanford University.
He also co-founded California Business, a tabloid weekly newspaper that was a forerunner to the American City Business Journal chain of weeklies.
But in 1979, he co-founded, along with Chris Barnett and Bob Clampett, a feisty newsletter that covered the public relations craft from a hard news and commentary standpoint. Originally called simply ‘Bulldog’ in honor of the newspaper industry’s longstanding tradition as the first edition on the street, it was renamed Bulldog Reporter when a Fortune 500 company threatened copyright infringement in a widely publicized kerfuffle.
With Garcia at the editorial helm, Bulldog Reporter launched regular “Meet the Editors” conferences. They created the Blue Ribbon Award for outstanding PR and The Fireplug Award for example of shoddy public relations.
Garcia was known for his dry and lively sense of humor, a zest of jazz, classic movies, politics, photography, cars, baseball and football, especially his cherished San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Cal Bears.
He is survived by his wife Diane Miller, his sons Craig and Chris Garcia whose mother, Sybil, passed away in 2019, sister Shirley Wilkinson, niece Dee Wilkinson, daughter-in-law Cynthia Garcia and grandchildren Nick and Ben.